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Salt Lake City Crime Rate: Are You Safe?

Posted August 18, 2020 by Cove

Downtown Salt Lake City Temple At Night with warm lighting

Salt Lake City is a large downtown area with outdoor theaters, exquisite cuisine, and rich culture. However, Salt Lake City is known to have high crime rates. Are visitors and residents safe in Salt Lake City?

Violent Crime Rate in Salt Lake City

Violent crime, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, includes homicide, assault, sexual assault, rape, robbery, kidnapping, extortion, and harassment. When a city reports violent crime rates that are higher than the national average, the city is considered dangerous. The national average for violent crime is 383 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. The most dangerous city in the United States is Detroit, with 2,137 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.

Salt Lake City’s violent crime rate is less than Detroit, yet still 200 percent higher than the national crime rate average. The Salt Lake City violent crime rate reports 730 crimes per 100,000 people, ranking above Las Vegas (605 per 100,000) and below Los Angeles (927 per 100,000). Due to high levels of criminal activity, it is not safe to walk alone at night in Salt Lake City. The city is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in America.

On July 20, 2019, David and his friend, John, decided to buy a Kawasaki Z650 motorcycle from the Facebook Marketplace in Salt Lake City. David agreed to meet the seller in the parking garage of an apartment complex in downtown Salt Lake. After appraising the motorcycle, two men appeared out of the darkness of the parking garage. Within moments, the scene became violent. According to David, one man pointed a gun at John, and the other pressed a knife into David’s back. The muggers told David to empty his pockets and told John to hand over the keys to the car. The men escaped with the car, wallets, phones, and cash. In David’s own words, “a cold chill ran over my entire body as the seriousness of the situation settled in.” He realized how dangerous the situation had been.

Sadly, armed robbery is a common threat to the residents of downtown Salt Lake City. The murder rate in Salt Lake City is four times higher than the average murder rate of Utah. Law enforcement and police officers work day and night to keep the main streets of Salt Lake safe. Tourists traveling in the city should be safe as long as they stay away from the alleyways and empty parking garages.

Criminal standing under a lamp post with face in shadow in a dangerous neighborhood in Salt Lake City

Property Crime Rate in Salt Lake City

What makes Salt Lake City dangerous is not violent crimes. In fact, for a large city, Salt Lake City has a fairly low violent crime rating. However, Salt Lake City has the 3rd highest property crime rating in the United States, with 6,176 property crimes per 100,000 people. Property crime is incredibly common in the Salt Lake City metro area, which is what makes the city so dangerous. The national average property crime rate is 2,200 per 100,000, meaning that Salt Lake City’s crime rate is nearly triple the national average.

In 2018, Salt Lake City was ranked as the number one most dangerous city in terms of property crime. The KUTV report warned residents of the Salt Lake City metro area to “lock your doors and windows.” According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, property crime is defined as burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. In Salt Lake, these crimes happen daily. Many residents remark that they are unable to leave their cars unattended without coming back to find a hole smashed in the window.

Some news stations attribute the high rates of property crime to the high number of homeless people in metro areas. Although the number of homeless individuals has been decreasing in Utah County, the crimes remain.

Salt Lake City Crime Map

To assess public safety in Salt Lake, many residents rely on crime maps. Crime maps depict when and where crimes have happened in the community. Residents are able to report crimes and become more aware of the dangers in their neighborhoods by using a crime map.

We recommend these two free crime maps for Utah county:

Both crime maps allow residents to search for an area or zip code and discover which crimes are happening in their communities. Using a crime map is simple. Once you’ve entered the zip code, you can browse the areas near you and see where crime is most prevalent. Most crime maps show arrest, arson, assault, burglary, robbery, shooting, theft, and vandalism.

Screenshot of Salt Lake City Crime Map From SpotCrime.com

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Salt Lake City

Regardless of whether you’re a resident or visitor of the Salt Lake City area, it’s important to know which neighborhoods are the most dangerous. Crime in Utah is often centralized in specific neighborhoods. This means that one neighborhood could be listed as the most dangerous place in Utah, while the neighborhood next door could be the safest place to live in the country. Here are the top five most dangerous neighborhoods in Salt Lake City.

Downtown Salt Lake

The most dangerous location in Salt Lake City is the downtown area. The crime data reports that there are 2,074 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which is 184 percent more than the Salt Lake average. The downtown area also has the highest number of property crimes, with 12,123 property crimes per 100,000 people. While in downtown Salt Lake, there is a 1 in 12 chance that you will be a victim of property crime. This high percentage is what makes downtown so dangerous. Residents and tourists in downtown should carry pepper spray with them, especially at night.


The Glendale neighborhood has a high population of 13,566 people. The neighborhood is densely packed and sees 90 percent more violent crimes than the Salt Lake average. The overall crime rate in this area is 378 percent higher than the national average, making it a definite neighborhood to avoid, if possible.

Poplar Grove

The third most dangerous neighborhood in Salt Lake City is Poplar Grove. This area sees 48 percent more crime than the Salt Lake average and has a high population of 14,748. In this area, there are 1,082 violent crimes per 100,000 people, making the crime rate relatively high in the large community.


Westpointe has a population of 8,426 and is located near downtown Salt Lake. The area sees a violent crime rate of 1,045 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants and a property crime rate of 7,689 per 100,000. Break-ins are common in this area, making the area an ill-fit for families looking for a new home near the city.

People’s Freeway

The final neighborhood on our list is People’s Freeway. People’s Freeway sees 20% more crime than the Salt Lake average with 800 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. The schools are ranked low, and the area is known for its high poverty rates.

Aerial View of Salt Lake City Utah with a blue sky and light smog

Safest Neighborhoods in Salt Lake City

Although Salt Lake isn’t one of the safest cities in the country, it does have several safe havens. The following five neighborhoods are some of the best neighborhoods in Salt Lake county. Known for their low crime rates and family-friendly atmosphere, these neighborhoods are the best places to live in Salt Lake City.

Greater Avenues

The safest neighborhood in Salt Lake County is Greater Avenues. Greater Avenues has a crime rate that is 75 percent lower than the Salt Lake average. It is a quiet area with quaint homes. This area is close to the Wasatch Mountains and is surrounded by hiking trails like the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. This area is ranked as one of the best places to live in Utah.

Wasatch Hollow

Wasatch Hollow is actually tied with Greater Avenues as the safest neighborhood in Salt Lake. Its crime rate is also 75 percent lower than the Salt Lake average. It offers residents a suburban life and is perfect for growing families. The schools in this area are ranked above average for Utah schools.


In Yalecrest, ranked as the third safest neighborhood in Salt Lake, residents should expect crime rates that are 74 percent lower than average. The area is known for green grass, art galleries, and fine dining restaurants. It is also surrounded by playgrounds for children and has some of the best schools in the county.

East Bench

East Bench has a population of 8,443 people and attracts relatively affluent residents. It is located at the base of the Wasatch range and has a crime rating that is 70 percent lower than the average violent crime rate in Salt Lake City. Crimes that do occur in this neighborhood are typically petty crimes.

Central City

In Central City, the crime rate is 52 percent lower than the Salt Lake average. The neighborhood is mostly known for art galleries, live music, and shopping centers. The area is rather affluent, which ensures that the streets and homes are well-kept. The area is located near the base of the mountains and is close to many hiking trails.

Downtown Salt Lake City Temple Day Time. Slightly covered by spring trees.

Are You Safe in Salt Lake City?

To answer the question, “Are you safe?” Our answer is: Yes. While visiting Salt Lake City, tourists and visitors should be safe as long as they do not wander the streets at night. Visitors should be careful while exploring the city and should carry pepper spray or some other kind of personal protection.

Homeowners and residents should install home security systems to protect their property. Since property crimes are so high in the Salt Lake area, it’s important that residents take the necessary precautions to keep their families safe.

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